Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña confirmed today that Labor Minister Jorge Triaca won’t lose his job as a result of the controversy concerning the firing of his former Employee Sandra Heredia – which included a strong insult via a WhatsApp audio message- and the following revelation that he allegedly used his influence to get her appointed at the Sindicato de Obreros Marítimos Unidos (Maritime Worker’s Union, or SOMU for short), which was placed into trusteeship in late 2016. “It is a mistake, but it won’t cost him his job,” he said in an interview with Radio Mitre.
Peña went on to say that the scandal “does not invalidate [Triaca’s] quality as a public official, nor the kind person he is, or his integrity,” and described him as an “excellent minister.” He also highlighted that Triaca has apologized for his actions.
The short WhatsApp audio message that brought the firing to the forefront of the conversation was published four days ago by by online news site OPI Santa Cruz as part of a broader report concerning Heredia’s working conditions. She claims she was paid under the table between 2012 and 2015, with the terms of her employment only being formalized shortly before the presidential elections.
The minister can be heard telling Sandra Heredia not to come in “because I’ll tell you to fuck off, you are an idiot.” Charming, right?
A day after the message became national news, Triaca took to twitter to apologize, and the next day – yesterday – he went to the beach town of Chapadmalal on vacation. Before leaving, he met with President Mauricio Macri and Marcos Peña to explain himself.
While people close to Triaca told Clarín that the minister had set the date of his departure in December, the timing is decidedly convenient considering the backlash he has been facing: he had criminal charges pressed against for Heredia’s appointment at the SOMU. And yesterday, the leader of the Kirchnerite Unidad Ciudadana caucus in the Lower House, Agustín Rossi, announced his intention of summoning Triaca to Congress and offer an explanation of his actions.